KOCHI:Has the ban on the import of pepper and coffee beans along with three other commodities from Vietnam lifted?
Well, the exporters seem confused after a report appeared in a Vietnamese online paper quoting Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA) that India has agreed to lift the ban. The ban was imposed on March 7 on complaints of pest contamination soon after Vietnam banned import of peanuts, cassia seed, cocoa beans, haricot beans and tamarind from India for the same reason.
The ban had put the pepper and instant coffee exporters in India in a fix. Both resort to large imports from Vietnam, which is the cheapest source, for value addition and re-export.
The report said that VPA had taken up the matter with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the country. The ministry discussed the issue with Indian Embassy in Hanoi to reach an agreement. In return to India lifting ban on imports from Vietnam, the latter revised its decision for suspension of import of food products from India, the report said.
However, the indian pepper exporters are not aware of the decision. "We have not received any official communication from Indian government on this," said Prakash Namboodiri, chairman of All India Spices Exporters Forum. The pepper prices which had spurted after the ban have now fallen.